File No. 763.72119/2261
The Serbian Chargé ( Simitch) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 15.]
Excellency: I am instructed by the Serbian Government to sumit to Your Excellency the following:
The present war, provoked and imposed upon the Allies by the Germanic Powers, supported by Bulgaria and Turkey, and its evolution during the last four years, has clearly revealed, not only its primordial cause, but also its aim. It is in the general interest that these two facts (the cause and the aim) should be ascertained so as to guard the Entente against the intrigues which would tend to nullify the results of this gigantic struggle to-day, as well as to prevent further complications.
At the end of the Balkan War, especially after our victory in 1913, and the check given to the Albanian invasions into our territory, [Page 843] fomented and inspired by foreign agents, Serbia revealed herself as a bulwark against the Austro-German plans in the Near East, and at the same time the center of attraction for the Serbs, Croats and the Slovenes under the German-Magyar yoke.
For some time past the House of Hapsburg has decided to unite in a single state the Serb, Croat and Slovene countries, and to create a Jugoslavia-Illyria under its own nomination [domination?], which would be for the Hapsburgs a new stage in their march on the Balkans. The Serbian victories have administered a check to this policy, a policy which was designed to overthrow the barrier which had been raised against their advance toward the Orient.
Germany and Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, desiring in this manner, to settle at the same time their accounts with the rival powers. The Powers of the Entente, desirous of preventing all violence in international relations and of hindering the Austro-Hungarian conquests in the Balkans, made every effort to prevent an armed conflict by proposing a solution by arbitration. Germany and Austria would not admit this defense of the western states, and declared war on them. The first phase of the Great War was synthetized by the defense of the little countries, like Belgium and Serbia, against an unjust aggression.
Since the intervention of the United States this struggle has taken the aspect of a conflict between the two principles of victory on which the future of the whole world will depend, on one side, brutal force, on the other, the liberty and the rights of nations.
After our country was attacked in this manner, and for these motives, the Royal Government declared, in the month of November, 1914, in the National Parliament, that Serbia was fighting for her existence, and at the same time for the liberation and union of her Serb, Croat, and Slovene brothers-in-race, oppressed by the Germans and the Magyars.
Our allies, resolved not to hesitate to make any sacrifice that would aid them to achieve this aim, have, in the course of the war, and especially since the intervention of the United States, declared that it was their intention to reestablish Poland in all its parts, with an exit on the Baltic Sea, and to collaborate with the Czech-Slovaks as their allies.
We believe, in consequence, that we are within our rights when we await a declaration on their part, according to which they will proclaim Serbia as their loyal ally since the beginning of the war, and will, therefore, also consider as such the brothers-in-race of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes of Austria-Hungary, and that they are ready to favor their union with Serbia in a free and democratic state, such as was provided for in the Declaration of Corfu.
The eclipse of Russia with her pretensions to Constantinople and the Straits on the one hand and the intervention of the United States on the other have still more accentuated the character of this war as defense alone. The immense sacrifices which the peoples have had to support in this struggle without example in history have given rise to a general desire to found international peace on the principles of liberty and the right of all the peoples, relegating to the secondary place individual interests and the pretensions of the states.[Page 844]
With a view to assuring new conditions and a more solid basis for the security of a just and equitable international peace, we consider that the declaration which we demand will be in full conformity with the new spirit, substituting the new principles to the former treaties; that it will completely concord with the interests of our great allies; that it will contribute to bring about the end of the war, and that it will assure a peace based on fraternal sincerity of the future society of nations, redeemed by so much bloodshed.
Serbia has made the supreme sacrifice for the realization of her national ideals. Her Government has been and intends to remain on all international relations the representative and the defender of her oppressed brothers-in-race. It, therefore, believes it is authorized to hope that her proposal will be sympathetically and benevolently received by the Allied Governments.
In bringing the above to the knowledge of Your Excellency I have [etc.]